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Marriage – Circle of Love

Patience, prayer and forgiveness are the ingredients that make a successful marriage, says Lyndon Rodrigues.

Among the various symbols of love, the rose is an apt one. There is a story of a poet in Paris who came upon a beggar. Instead of giving her money, he gave the beggar woman a half-bloomed rose. For an entire week the beggar was not seen at her usual spot on the street. Someone asked the poet, “What could she have lived on all those days?” “On the rose!” he replied. The rose was the symbol of the poet’s heart full of love for the beggar woman. Indeed, love makes a difference in an individual’s life.

The origin of love is God. God is Love and God’s love moves in two directions at the same time: inward and outward. From the inward direction it sees the outward and vice-versa. God’s love is self-sacrificing and it radiates out of Himself. The manifested consequence of God’s love is His marvellous creativity.

The institution of marriage based on love is a meaningful manifestation of God’s love. Marriage has its origin in God as Pope Paul VI puts it, “It is clear that marriage, even in the state of Nature and certainly long before it was raised to the dignity of a sacrament, was divinely instituted in such a way that it should be a perpetual and indissoluble bond …”

The creation of man and woman in God’s image and likeness, is a call to live in love, taking delight in one another. In reality marriage is a covenant of love. As a covenant, marriage is a permanent bond between a man and a woman. Both the partners in marriage are called to reciprocate their profession of love in the words of an unknown German writer:
You are mine, I am yours: be sure of this.
You are enclosed in my heart,
The key is lost: you always have to stay inside.

Marriage as based on God’s love is characterized by the quality of self-sacrifice and the quality of reaching out to become co-creative with God.

A marriage that is built on love is deemed to success. A successful marriage should possess the ingredients of concern for the other, patience, forgiveness and above all, prayer to hold the marriage together.

The concern for the other partner is manifested when one partner lives not for himself, but for the other. The heart of marriage is its communication system and the communication between the partners determines the qualitative aspect of marriage. As Dwight Small points out, “It can be said that the success and happiness of any married pair is measurable in terms of the deepening dialogue which characterizes their union.”

The ingredient of patience acknowledges the other as a person. It leaves space for understanding. Consequently, patience promotes change and growth in each of the partners. The ingredient of forgiveness holds them together in a happy marriage. As R.Quillon would say, “A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.”

Prayer in the life of a married couple serves as a firm basis for a successful marriage. It makes them realize that God is the origin of their love. It recognizes their fragility and their dependence on God.

A marriage is a circle of love. A successful marriage is the concrete expression of God’s love for humankind. It is an actualisation of God’s love in the life of the married couple and the manifestation of the actualisation of God’s love for others. Every successful marriage is proof of this love.